U-M Knocked Out of NCAA Tourney on FSU Walk-Off Homer

May 23, 2014

• Game 1: Box Score | Photo Gallery  | Highlights video icon
• Game 2: Box Score | Photo Gallery  | Highlights video icon
• Postgame: Notes | Quotes

Site: Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)
Event: NCAA Super Regional (Day 2)
Score: #3 Florida State 6, #13 Michigan 0; #3 Florida State 4, #13 Michigan 2
Records: U-M (47-15), FSU (55-7)
Next U-M Event: Season Complete

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Courtney Senas hit a two-run walk-off home run to give No. 3 Florida State a 4-2 win over the No. 13-ranked University of Michigan softball team in the decisive game three of the Tallahassee Super Regional Friday (May 23) at JoAnne Graf Field. The loss ends the season for the Maize and Blue.

Earlier in the day, the Seminoles won game two of the Super Regional 6-0 to force a third game in the best-of-three series.

The Wolverines finished 2014 with a 47-15 record, won their seventh consecutive Big Ten title and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 20th consecutive season.

Michigan led the deciding game 2-1 going into the fifth inning. Freshman Lindsay Montemarano (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) hit a game-tying homer in the second, after the Seminoles took a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first. Montemarano's solo shot was a no-doubter to deep center, her fifth of the season.

Then U-M took the lead in the third on a bases-loaded fielder's choice by senior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston). The Wolverines loaded the bases in the first, third and seventh but could not capitalize except for Hasselbach's one run batted in.

Michigan was poised to add a run to its 2-1 lead in the fifth when pinch runner Brandi Virgil (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) raced around third on a Hasselbach single, but she was called out at the plate on a throw home from Senas in centerfield.

Senas was involved in Florida State's tying play. A short pop she hit along the first base line glanced off the glove of pitcher Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena) and scooted into foul territory. Tiffani Brown came around from first base to score a run and knot the game at two runs apiece.

The Maize and Blue could not push a run across with runners on second and third in the sixth and left the bases loaded in the seventh. That set the stage for the walkoff homer by Senas in the bottom of the seventh.

Sophomore Sierra Lawrence (Snellville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) picked up three hits in the nightcap, and senior Caitlin Blanchard (Petersburg, Mich./Summfield) added two more. The Wolverines outhit the Seminoles 10-7.

Game one had all the makings of a pitcher's duel through four innings until Florida State erupted for four home runs across the fifth and sixth. Starter Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove) held the Seminoles down through four. From the first through the fourth, she set down 10 batters in a row.

Offensively, the Wolverines had three hits off FSU starter Lacey Waldrop through four. Sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) hit a double in the first inning to put two into scoring position with one out, but they were stranded on the basepaths. That represented Michigan's best scoring opportunity.

The fifth inning was Michigan's undoing. Celeste Gomez and Maddie O'Brien each hit two-run homers, and Senas added a solo shot to build Florida State's 5-0 lead. Another solo homer in the sixth made it a 6-0 game.

Today marked the final games in the Maize and Blue for seniors Blanchard, Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community), Hasselbach, Katie Luetkens (Batavia, Ill./Batavia),Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) and Virgil. The group finished with a record of 193-53 (.785), won four Big Title titles, qualified for four NCAA Tournaments and earned a berth to the 2013 Women's College World Series during their four seasons in Ann Arbor.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (mkasibor@umich.edu)

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